How Constraints Empower Us to Achieve More

Many people think they achieve more by simply doing more. That stuffing more into our days will create greater results in our lives and work. But when we do this, we’re actually bringing something less than our best selves to both the office and home. We’re scattered and depleted rather than productive and fulfilled.

To achieve more, we actually need boundaries. We need limitations and structures around our workday, workweek, and weekend. Here are 3 ways constraints empower us to achieve more:

  1. Constraints enable focus. Too much time just leads to time wasted. Conversely, when you have a hard stop to your workday, you’re forced to stay focused and avoid wasting time on meaningless activity. 
  2. Constraints drive productivity. Without constraints, you can afford to dawdle and not do things in the most efficient way. However, when you place limits on your work time, you’re forced to stop trying to do everything and instead become more intentional about the kind of work you do within the hours you already have. You’re forced to identify the key tasks you love and are really skilled at while eliminating, automating, or delegating the rest. It swaps time-wasting and nonessential activity for what’s truly essential.
  3. Constraints foster creativity. Having to work within the limits of our own skills and capabilities forces us to be creative in finding our own solutions to problems rather than imitating what others have done. This gives everyone unique opportunities, creative advantages and different viewpoints. 


Instead of working against, constraints that naturally exist or the ones we implement can work in our favor to help us achieve more by forcing us to work in smarter ways.